By Brad Vandenberk
Now that the Olympics have claimed its victor and the Stadium Series business is behind us, its time to shift focus to the NHL playoff chase. On the eve of the trade deadline, the Chicago Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs entered the contest trailing the Hawks by three points in the standings. To make Tuesday night’s matchup even more meaningful, Colorado also has a game in hand on the defending champs in a tight race atop the Central division between the Avs, Hawks and Blues.
As we sit on March 4, 2014 the Hawks have 20 games remaining in their schedule with the pesky Avs nipping at their heels. While the St Louis Blues began the evening tied with the Hawks at 86 points (St. Louis won 4-2 over Tampa on Tuesday night to climb to 88 points]. This will make for a great finish heading into the playoffs. The bad news coming out of the Madhouse on Madison is that Marian Hossa will be on the shelf for approximately 2-3 weeks with an upper body injury suffered in Saturday night’s affair at Soldier Field. This next stretch without him will be a very tough test as no one can play as good a 200 foot game as Hossa. Brandon Saad started out on the top line Tuesday night as a first-laid plan to replace Hossa alongside Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp for the time being.